Exit interviews are often part of the employee firing procedures and used to resolve any pre-existing employment disputes such as grievances or last paycheck. A poorly handle exit interview can create legal disputes that end up being resolved in court.

An exit interview is a survey taken during a face-to-face conversation between employer and employee leaving the company. The interview can be voluntary or involuntary.

Do I Have to Tell My Employee the Reason For the Termination During the Exit Interview?

Yes. This helps to avoid any legal disputes regarding the firing. Reasons for firing typically include failure to follow instructions, tardiness, and unsatisfactory performance.

Are There Statements I Should Avoid Saying to My Employee during an Exit Interview?

Yes. Avoid saying statements about the former employee’s incompetence or dishonesty. Statements that appear to be personal attack can be the basis for a defamation lawsuit. Defamation is making public false statements about another person. The statements can be oral or written statements.

What Should I Do If My Employee or Employer Starts Arguing with Me?

Never argue with the employee or employer. For the employer, this causes bad feelings and exposes a company to litigation. For the employee, this may result in the loss of a job reference.

Should I Consult an Attorney About What I Need to Do to Avoid Exit Interview Dispute?

Yes. To avoid this type of legal dispute and potential lawsuits, talk to a business lawyer. The consultation should occur prior to firing and the exit interview.  

Can an Exit Interview Arise By Offering a Former Employee Anything?

Exit interview legal disputes do occur because an employer has promised the employee something like:

  • Good recommendation
  • Assistance obtaining employment
  • When those promises aren’t fulfilled, the former employee may file a lawsuit.

What Should I Do If My Employee Accuses Me or the Company of Something Negative?

Postpone the response until a later date. Employees may accuse an employer or colleague of discrimination, harassment, or improper behavior. A dispute often arises when the company tries to refute claims.

Should I Talk to a Lawyer About Exit Interviews?

Yes, consult an employment lawyer about exit interviews prior to conducting one.